It has been quite awhile since my last post. Between Spring Break and personally presenting a paper in Texas for a Phi Alpha Theta conference, I have been a busy woman! I am happy to update everyone on a few things since my last post.
For starters, I know last time I wrote Colin, the senior archivists I am working with at the UALR CAHC, and I went to the Mosaic Templar Cultural Center’s offsite location to be introduced to the second half of the Mary Lee Harris Collection. It was AMAZING! They have many artifacts that tell the story of this wonderful woman and her family. The one thing I found and was most interested in was a small box that contained many documents – newspapers, letters and photos. I also found current day correspondence between different people who were associated with first procuring these artifacts and document to be stored for future researchers. I was fortunate enough to go back on my own the following week to dig through this particular box to locate more detailed information and make copies of the lovely photos that now bring a face to not only Mary Lee Harris, but various family members as well.
Its interesting to see the history of this women and how her life came to my desk. Luckily, the rest of the answers are starting to come together. Between an essay written about her life and the artifacts, the collection that is stored at the Mosaic Templar Cultural Center and the papers I currently possess, we can piece together a basic understanding of her life. Mary Lee Harris, born in 1912, married at age 15 to a man who she later separated from but never divorced, who lived with her grandmother for a short period of time and then her mother and step-father until they all passed away – these details are now available for the public. Well…they will be once I finish my finding aid! Speaking of which, my first draft has been turned in and I am finalizing the changes as we speak. In the next few weeks I will start giving you a more detailed look at Mary Lee Harris and the progression I took to find her life story. Check back later!